Following My Gut
In August (2018), while sitting at the family cottage, my gut told me that the red chairs as pictured above would be an integral part of my work going forward. Although I did not know how, I did know that for me, they represented the coaching relationship.
They provide a safe place to look ahead, reflect and plan.
At times, the view in front of us is calm. Other times, it is stormy.
Having the courage to face what’s in front of us and work through our own ‘stuff’ gives us clarity. And when we have clarity, we are more apt to act and that action is more likely to get results.
I was also starting to percolate a vision of doing something to further enable women who lead. Having successfully been in an executive role and understanding first hand some of the challenges that come with that, coupled with my experience and education in partnering with others on their learning journeys, I made a choice to try something.
And so, in November (2018), over 50 women came together to reflect with purpose, engage with presence so they could drive with clarity. We talked about the fact that of the 9 leadership behaviours required for organizational success, women exhibit 5 of those behaviours more often than men. (McKinsey – Women Matter) We began the dialogue of who we are and how we want to show up as women who lead.
From January to May, during 4 different Red Chair conversations, over 50 women experienced a trusted and safe place to explore who they are and how they want to be. We began in January with a focus on leading courageously. In March, we talked about what it means to lead authentically. In April, we explored how we lead ourselves through change. And in May, Keith Macpherson came and lead us through a workshop on being more mindful.
I want to thank the women who choose to invest in themselves by spending time in their Red Chairs. As we debriefed our experiences from one session to the next, it was humbling to hear the actions and the risks that individuals had taken in pursuit of leading well.
The ripple effect of the work each of you have done and will continue to do as you lead yourself, your teams and your organizations is inspiring! Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your journey!
I am glad I listened to my gut.
Now it is time to figure out what’s next for Red Chair. Stay tuned!